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Comment Re:The real reason (Score 1) 424

The last few Tarantino films have been pretty big budget, so I think whatever Tarantino wants, Tarantino gets. Despite the apparent excesses of Tarantino's films, you can tell they're very tightly plotted, edited to near perfection, and most importantly, Tarantino has a gift for a dialogue that Lucas never had.

I'm a big fan of Q's earlier films, but I'm not so impressed with his last few.

I really wish I'd seen Grindhouse in its original form. Instead, I saw Death Proof, which was padded out into a feature film - and I thought it showed. The tight plotting, pacing, and editing just weren't there. Instead, there was entirely too much of his trademark dialogue.

Inglourious Basterds had its moments, but was largely forgettable. And while Django Unchained was gorgeously shot, its story paled in comparison to one of its influences, Mandingo.


I'm hoping that Hateful Eight will be back on track. Meanwhile, I think that it's time to watch Jackie Brown again.

Comment Re:It takes multiple fire fighters to control a ho (Score 1) 91

Absolutely no fucking way this will *ever* 'pick-up a person' via remote control. Without trained rescue personnel on hand you aren't going to have people just climb aboard a wobbling contraption 2000 ft off the ground without a high likelihood of plunging to their death. And if you can get a rescue worker to the site you don't need the helicopter ('Jetpack' is just marketing after all). And yes I DID read TFA.

You send up the rescue worker, who subsequently loads people in for the ride down. Very much as they do now for helicopter evacuations, using slings or litters. Nothing new in theory, just a different ride.

Comment Re:Is this some luddite anti-tech site? (Score 1) 91

These are no jetpacks, no matter what the media labels them as.
First, they are turboprops.

No, they are not turboprops. A turboprop is a propeller drive system in which the propeller is driven by a turbine engine.

This is a ducted fan, powered by a piston engine.

There are no jets.

Yes, there are - the ducted fans create a jet of air on which the vehicle rides. 'Jet' refers to the result of the power, not to how the power is created.

[Of course, by this logic you might classify rockets as 'jets' - and I'm pretty sure that the good folks down at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories - the guys that work with rockets) would agree.]

To search, survey, or monitoring you are better off with much small drones. They can hang in the air much longer...

How much longer, if at all? I thought that these had a longer running time - hydrocarbon fuel is still roughly the gold standard with respect to energy density when it comes to aviation. they have no operator to endanger.

An intriguing aspect is that these can be operated remotely - with an impressive payload - with no pilot endangered.

[Specifically how this ability might be used to benefit in a high rise fire is left as an exercise for the student.]

Comment Re:Before the usual snark "but they're dangerous" (Score 1) 91

From a safety standpoint, there is a major difference between helicopters and 'jet packs': given sufficient altitude/air speed, the helicopter can auto-rotate (essentially, glide) to a controlled landing. If you lose power with these toys, your only option is a parachute.

[As I recall, a ballistic chute is either standard equipment or available as an option - but I haven't been to their site lately, so don't quote me.]

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 107

I don't know how much it will be, or if I really care - I'm not big on pics. But my first thought was that third parties will be offering knock off replacements at knock off prices.

Of course, other third parties can be offer replacement cameras with Carl Zeiss optical zoom lenses and more pixels than you can count at a price that would be considerably more than the original phone.

The phone reminds me a bit of the old Handspring PDAs with the expansion slot.

Comment Re:Laws (Score 1) 822 "The purpose of the act is to prevent firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable for negligence when crimes have been committed with their products. " Given it was endorsed by the NRA, it seems it was likely not too strong or safety.

From your link:

A “secure gun storage or safety device” is defined in 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(34) as:
(A) a device that, when installed on a firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being operated without first deactivating the device [...]

So providing a single zip tie with a gun purchase satisfies law. There are no standards or minimum requirements for locks. And no minimum standard for "deactivation", so a zip tie through the barrel (or other place where the gun can't operate with it in place) would satisfy the law.

It is a bit of a moot point, as the owner is not required to actually use the device. However, in 2013 Obama directed the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop safety device and gun safe standards. I don't know if that has progressed. But while on the subject, let me throw in a plug for Omega gun locks (my brother assisted in the design).

Comment Re: are we still in the quagmire? (Score 1) 278

"not a system where the units are arbitrarily defined."

Yes: surely a pint is a pint and a mile is a mile, nothing arbitrary there!

But then, there's the minor problem about explaining why a British pint is 568 ml while the US pint is only 551 ml. Oh, wait! that's the *dry* pint, because, as everybody knows, the *liquid* pint is a mere 473 ml.

I'm not concerned about fairly trivial differences in how "pint" is defined. Of more interest is that a pint of beer on any of those scales is a convenient amount to hold and drink. And in any of those scales, there are still two pints to a quart, four quarts to a gallon - that convenient doubling scale.

But those are volumes; distances surely will be much better: like a mile, everybody knows its 1609,34 meters. Well... everybody but seamen and pilots: they naively think a mile's proper and non-arbitrary length must be 1852 meters.

No, they really are not arbitrary units.

No, nothing arbitrary there. I don't know offhand how the statue mile evolved; I'll leave that as an exercise for the student. But the nautical mile is of more interest, as it was created as an aid to navigation. It was defined as the length of one minute of altitude, as measured along a north-south meridian. Arbitrary? Certainly not.

Looking back at your response, it would seem that your beef about SI units is that the disparity in using the same (or nearly same) name for different amounts in different locations or contexts. For me, that is not an issue. If my speedometer reads 75, I know that it is statue miles per hour, not knots. If a recipe calls dor a cup of milk, I know that a pint will be double what I need. Why should it bother me that pints are different across the pond?

And now, please make yourself a favour and look for Asimov's essay "Forget It!"

Read it, mildly interesting.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?